Missouri Science Teachers: NSTA Is Coming to You This April

If you’re a Missouri science teacher, you’ve probably been to the Missouri Botanical Garden, most likely as a chaperone. But when you join NSTA for our 2019 National Conference in St. Louis this April, you’ll get a completely different experience—right in your own backyard. You get to be the student for a couple of days and experience the joys of science with your friends. And the Botanical Garden? Yep. It’s on the list—all attendees get complimentary admission to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Butterfly House (just show your badge at the gate).

Ready for the New MO Standards?

Our conference planning committee knows that Missouri has adopted new science learning standards and a new science assessment; so this conference will be especially useful to Missouri teachers needing to get up to speed. The new Missouri standards and assessments are directly aligned to the learning, practices, and content that will be addressed at this conference. Areas of particular focus for this conference include the following strands (all targeted by level— novice, intermediate, or advanced attendees):

  • Three-Dimensional Grand Slam: This strand will focus on implementing three-dimensional learning to increase student understanding. Read more.
  • Phenomena: Gateway to Learning: This strand will show how teachers can use structures such as the 5E instructional model, Claims-Evidence-Reasoning (CER), Problem-Based Learning, Place-Based Learning, or Project-Based Learning as viable approaches to facilitate student understanding. Read more.
  • Jazzing Up Science with Cross-Curricular Connections: This strand will focus on ways that science and other subject areas can be integrated, including the best way to bundle disciplinary core ideas. Read more.
  • Confluence of Equity and Education: The imperative of the planners of this strand is to maintain high expectations and broaden access and opportunities in STEM education to increase the likelihood of student success and to prepare them to compete globally. Read more.

Will You Know Anyone?

If this is your first NSTA conference (or even if it isn’t but you want to meet new people to share the experience with), be sure to put the First Timers Session (Thursday, April 11, 8:00–9:00 AM) on your schedule. And stop by the Science Teachers of Missouri (STOM) booth. At both places you’ll find STOM members, leadership, and teachers from the surrounding area who are facing the same challenges and sharing new opportunities particularly applicable to you. One particular opportunity you’ll want to watch for is STOM’s announcement of the winners of the 2018 STOM Excellence in Science Teaching Awards. Learn more about the award here, and consider nominating yourself or a deserving peer for the 2019 award.

If you’re planning to come with a group, use code 5FOR4 to get a complimentary 5th registration when you sign up 4 people to attend.

Lots of sessions and workshops will be led by Missouri educators. Here is just a small sampling of them; search the session browser to find more.

  • A Generation of Citizen Stewards
    Betsy Crites, Missouri Botanical Garden
    Thursday, April 11, 8:30–9:00 AM 
    Room 151, America’s Center

Activate your high school students to engage in their community by taking action for the environment, while they put 21st-century skills into action.

  • Assessing and Exploring the Phenomena of Earthquakes: Including the New Madrid Seismic Zone
    Lloyd Barrow, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri
    Dannah Schaffer, Assistant Professor of Science, Minot State University
    Thursday, April 11, 2:00–3:00 PM 
    Room 228, America’s Center

Using the 5Es (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate), participants will gain an insight into how to implement classroom activities concerning plate tectonics, as well as how to assess students’ understanding.

  • Integrating the Missouri River into Your Classroom
    Kristen Schulte, Missouri River Relief
    Thursday, April 11, 3:30–4:30 PM 
    Room 228, America’s Center

Build your understanding of how human choices have affected the Missouri River’s rhythm while discovering new instructional strategies for investigating the mysteries behind the river.

  • The Flight of the Bumblebee: A New Multimodal STEM Text Set and Related Activities for Diverse Middle School Learners
    Zack Miller, University of Missouri
    William Folk, Professor, University of Missouri
    Amy Lannin, Director, University of Missouri
    Delinda Van Garderen, Professor, University of Missouri
    Friday, April 12, 8:00–9:00 AM 
    Room 221, America’s Center

We will review a new multimodal STEM text set addressing engineering design (MS-ETS1); waves and applications (MS-PS4); ecosystems (MS-LS2); and CCSS ELA (RST:1–9) for diverse learners.

  • NARST-Sponsored Session: Science and Literacy—How Is Preservice Teacher Learning Impacted by a Mobile Device Curriculum?
    Deepika Menon, Assistant Professor of Science Education, Towson University
    Meera Chandrasekhar, Professor, University of Missouri
    Dorina Kosztin, Teaching Professor, University of Missouri
    Doug Steinhoff, Physics Teacher, University of Missouri
    Friday, April 12, 11:00 AM–12 Noon 
    Mills Studio 1, Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch

Hear how switching to an iPad-based hands-on curriculum made a major positive impact on both physical science learning and technology self-efficacy for preservice teachers. Handouts!

  • Sustainable in St. Louis: Connecting Students and Concepts Through Real-World Waste Reduction Projects
    Katherine Golden, Missouri Botanical Garden
    Maggie McCoy, Education Coordinator, EarthWays Center of Missouri Botanical Garden
    Friday, April 12, 11:30 AM–12 Noon 
    Room 241, America’s Center

We will share case studies from the EarthWays Sustainability Network, a data-based teacher mentorship program that helps schools find ways to reduce landfill waste through student-led projects.

  • Engaging St. Louis Area Students in Equity Through Design Thinking
    Leslie Cook, Teton Science Schools Teacher Learning Center
    Paulo Ribeiro, Health and PE Teacher, Parkway Southwest Middle School
    Joe Rhodes, Classroom Teacher-Social Studies, Parkway Southwest Middle School
    Joseph Petrick, Vice President of Field Education, Teton Science Schools
    Friday, April 12, 12:30–1:30 PM 
    Landmark 7, Marriott St. Louis Grand

Hear how teachers in the Parkway School District, Missouri, guided student learning and exploration of equity through meaningful and relevant real-life topics in the community.

  • Engaging Outdoor Learning Techniques for Student Success
    Steven Juhlin, Education Program State Coordinator, Missouri Dept. of Conservation
    Bridget Jackson, Conservation Education Consultant, Missouri Dept. of Conservation
    Saturday, April 13, 12:30–1:30 PM 
    Gateway A, Marriott St. Louis Grand

Discuss underlying issues, needs, and questions that stifle outdoor learning, and identify practical and academic methods to be successful. Inquiry-based resources provided.

  • Cross-Curricular Connections for a Sustainable Planet
    Mary Ellen Lohr, Assistant Professor of Biology, Southeast Missouri State University
    Cindi Smith-Walters, Biology Professor, Middle Tennessee State University
    Sunday, April 14, 9:30–10:30 AM 
    Room 240, America’s Center

Engage in hands-on activities that apply math, science, and social studies skills and content standards to address major global, environmental challenges. Lesson plans provided.

  • Get Them THINKING! Critical Thinking, the Nature of Science, and Logic in Engineering and Crosscutting Concepts
    Alice (Jill) Black, Associate Professor, Missouri State University
    Sunday, April 14, 11:00 AM–12 Noon 
    Room 261, America’s Center

Do your students think through ideas or give answers indicating “surface thinking”? Come participate in K–8 critical thinking, nature of science, and engineering/crosscutting concepts–related logic activities.

This Year Is Special

“Typically, very few Missouri teachers are able to attend due to the funding and policies of out-of-state travel.  We have a very unique situation this year where our state is hosting the conference, making it possible to send many teachers at an affordable rate.”— NSTA’s St. Louis Conference Chair, Mike Szydlowski (Science Coordinator for Columbia Public Schools and STOM Past President) has this message for Missouri teachers. He’s set up the “Send a Teacher” initiative to help Missouri educators get funding from local businesses and other organizations to attend.

Worried about Missouri Spring Assessments conflicting with the NSTA conference? Don’t be! Mike also tells us: “We have confirmed that the testing window in Missouri will be greatly expanded to include the dates April 1 through the end of the school year. This will allow schools to work around this incredible national-level conference opportunity without impacting their state testing.”

NSTA and STOM work together to make this conference great, and it takes years of planning. The people who have made the educational programming so relevant for both local teachers and those nationwide deserve special recognition. They are:

  • Mike Szydlowski
    Conference Chairperson
    K–12 Science Coordinator
    Columbia Public Schools
  • Eric Hadley
    Program Coordinator
    K–12 Science Curriculum Coordinator
    Ferguson-Florissant School District
  • Christina Hughes
    Local Arrangements Coordinator
    K–12 Science Curriculum Coordinator
    Hazelwood School District

NSTA’s 2019 National Conference on Science Education addresses real challenges teachers face in their schools and classrooms. In just four days, the programming and events associated with this conference will better prepare you to support your students’ science learning. You would have to attend several events to obtain the level of education offered at NSTA’s National Conference.

Pro Tips

Find out about scholarship opportunities to attend the conference and attend a Professional Learning Institute. Learn more.

Check out more sessions and other events with the St. Louis Session Browser. Follow all our conference tweets using #NSTA19, and if you tweet, please feel free to tag us @NSTA so we see it and share.

Need help requesting funding or time off from your principal or supervisor? Download a letter of support and bring it with you.

And don’t forget, NSTA and/or STOM members save up to $90 off the price of registration. Not a member? Join here. Missouri science teachers, you are also eligible for joint membership in both STOM and NSTA, for only $79. To take advantage of this special offer, fill out the registration packet, and see page 4 for the joint membership option.

Future NSTA Conferences

2019 National Conference
St. Louis, April 11–14

2019 STEM Forum & Expo
San Francisco, July 24–26

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

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